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“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit;

sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19

My husband and I had the solemn opportunity to journey to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps located near the town of Oswiecim in southern Poland. It was this first-hand experience that revealed to us the profound suffering that was inflicted on the people who were targeted as Hitler’s “final solution”. Later, we were taken to site of the Jewish Ghetto located in Warsaw, Poland, that was the center of the disastrous 1943 uprising against the Nazi oppressors. Once we left, we were never the same again. Our experiences were so intense they seared an indelible impression of horror, terror, futility, anguish and suffering that we will never forget. On the final leg of our trip, we visited a restaurant where we enjoyed a kosher meal and were entertained by a trio of Jewish musicians who played traditional music. (From memory, with no sheet music, I might add). Song after song was melancholy, methodical and slow. It seemed every note was filled with emotion, evoking tangible feelings of tragedy and pain. Sometimes, it was difficult to listen to the clarinet’s almost wailing-like notes while visions of what we experienced earlier that day resurfaced in my mind.

Then the music changed.

The entire evening’s mood was transformed as the music became more upbeat with lighter songs and melodies that elicited pleasant feelings of positivity and hope that filled the restaurant. Even the musicians seemed happier to be playing those songs. The evening was entertaining but thought provoking and eye-opening. It was my idea that the music provided an avenue that channeled the tragedy and triumph of the people’s struggle for freedom from oppression during World War II. For all those who perished, our prayers are with them always.

Music, the universal language, speaks volumes. As it does in our humble church far removed from worldly conflicts and tragedies of the body, heart and soul. Our choir makes our church come alive with the sounds of love for our Jesus and the hope He offers to us each day. Their “joyful noise” is a comfort that sends a message that no matter who we are He is there for us as we sing His praises and ask for His guidance. Whether there are five or 15 choir members singing God’s praises, their voices are clear, sincere, and joyful that uplift each person in the congregation. And, our talented choir director, in addition to our adjunct director, are patient, understanding and truly talented, guide our choir to reach their highest potential in song each week with beautiful accompaniment. We at Prince of Peace are truly blessed to have such a dedicated choir and directors. And, whether our members of the congregation can carry a tune we fill the church with joyful noise each week! Alleluia!

By D. A Higgins


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